Hey Mom..I wanna be…

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Hey, Mom! I want to be Cinderella… ummm, or maybe Hannah Montana!” and the list goes on and on as kids get excited about Halloween and can’t wait to pick the BEST Costume ever. My kids pay for their own costumes and each year they get more creative as they strive to save money on the cost of their costumes. Funny…when I was paying for the costumes the “sky was the limit” and they even wanted one for school, and a different one for trick or treating in the evening!

You can save a bunch of money at Halloween by incorporating a Spooktacular Saving System into your family’s daily activities. And the best part is it works all year long for all the other holidays! The first part of adopting a savings system is to help your children understand the difference between needs and wants. Needs are the necessities and the living expenses that we need to survive every day.

Be very clear this is NOT the cable television or latte that you MUST pick up on the way to work, but survival items like groceries, basic clothing, shelter and electricity.

You can start a simple savings and money management system with your family that takes what you already spend on your kids and give them a little piece of the money to manage. Some of the benefits are:

1. The kids learn the value of a dollar
2. They have tools to help them deal with their emotional ups and downs related to money habits i.e. Shop or retail therapy
3. They become more money conscious and make deliberate choices about how they spend their money
4. You will actually spend less!
5. They will be motivated to contribute more to the family and share with each other

Setting the foundation early for a saving and money management system will help you elevate your child’s financial intelligence and help them become Money Magicians. Helping your kids practice delayed gratification will give them the money muscle to avoid the pitfalls of the “buy now pay later” holiday promotions.

Many adults run into problems with Beastly Bad Debt due to their inability to distinguish between needs and wants, and lack of education around consumer debt and credit. Some adults don’t understand that all debt is not bad or created equal. Take a look at Goosebump Good Debt… yes; I get goosebumps when I think of my debt earning income for me!

That’s right; you use your debt wisely and invest in income producing assets. Then your interest payments are tax deductible! Teaching your children about Beastly Bad Debt and Goosebump Good Debt, are great ways to help your child avoid a financial fright when they graduate from college with a new credit card.

The basis for a spectacular saving system is that it should be simple, is habit forming and takes the emotional mayhem out of managing money. One system that works well for the whole family is the Money Jars System. The basic principle is that the jars are visual, physical, and audible (especially if glass), and therefore, memorable. So it encompasses most of the senses and it is spooky simple for even a three year old to use. The jars assist you and the whole family in systemizing their money based upon the following formula:

Financial Freedom Fund 10%
Fun Fund 10%
Sharing Fund 10%
Savings Fund 10%
Learning Fund 10%
Living Fund 50%

Each of the jars can assist in modifying behaviour around spending and assist individuals to cope with their money personality; whether a spender, saver, avoider, or money monk. So when your child (or you, the parent) wants to buy something right now, there is permission to use money from which ever jar meets the preset requirement.

That means that if I want to purchase an immediate want (not long-term), then I can look to my Fun Jar to see if I have the money. This is very empowering for children. And parents never have to say “no”, they just ask the child if they have the amount ($) they need for their purchase in the applicable jar.

As my kids use their Fun jar for Halloween costumes, they are very creative at getting the best deal for the money they have. They have been known to create something from items they have found around the house. After all, they may want to use their Fun money for something else on another day! Regardless of what costumes my kids put on for Halloween each year, they are always Money Magicians all year long.

“Money consciousness is a state of mind that frees the soul.”
~ Kim Deep

For more info on the Money Jars and money tips go to www.thefamilywealthacademy.com

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